Monday, December 29, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Snow at last!
Cleaning the walks with brooms!

Bonjour!  I hope you have all had a Merry Christmas and now are getting ready for the New Year.  This past week has been so great and filled with some cool miracles.  The last two days it has been a blizzard here in eastern France and it's the first time I've seen snow on my mission and I love snow!  It's awesome!

Christmas Eve dinner at the L'Homels

Let me start out with our Christmas Festivites!  On Wednesday night we had dinner with the L'Homel family.  We started the night out by dividing up into groups...a missionary companionship with two family members.  We took cookies to their neighbors and of course they asked who we were and it was a chance to share a little bit about why we are there.  Cookies and family members helped to make it extra effective!  We even got offered a bottle of champagne as a Christmas present.  We thanked them but explained we didn't drink.  They were in shock and asked, "Isn't that hard?"  We had an awesome meal of salmon, fish eggs, olives, 12 escargots/person and a buche de Noel for dessert.  It was delicious - even the escargots!

Christmas morning we opened our presents and then took off for the church to have a Christmas Brunch with the missionaries in Nancy, recent converts and members who didn't have a place to go for Christmas. We had Christmas music playing, cinnamon rolls and quiche.  It was great and Srdjan came!  We continued the day with dinner at the Langouet's house with another delicious meal of pheasant, exotic fruits, and delicious desserts.  We were able to play games with the family and then Skype with our families!  It was great!

Christmas Day!
Friday it was back to work with a Zone challenge to find at least two amis to teach.  We were on a mission!
The first person we met was Antonio who is a practicing catholic.  He spoke Spanish and so Elder Velazquez was able to to talk with him.  We are going to see him and his family after the New Year and he even invited us to eat with them!  As we continued contacting in the morning we also contacted a man who spoke Serbian.  We explained that we didn't but knew someone who did, Srjdan.  He said, "Srjdan is my cousin and he goes to your church!"  It was sooo cool.  He is interested to learn more with Srdjan's help!

After a long day and night of porting for 3 hours we were still looking for another ami for the day.  We tried to think of potentials we'd taught and could maybe fix a rendez-vous with for later in the week.  About three months ago Elder Gram and I met Francois and so we called him.  After doing all that we could a miracle gave us our second new ami for the day!  He said we could meet with him later in the week.  When we had our lesson it went great and we were able to teach him the "Plan of Salvation".  We watched a "Mormon message" that was so good and he asked a question about the Book of Mormon and now we are seeing him again tomorrow night!

That's only a small part of our week but here's a few highlights:
-It snowed...a lot!  We only had Sacrament meeting because there is so much snow!
-We got to see Jean Jacques and give him a Christmas present (Suit, tie and coat)  It was his first Christmas present of the year and he was smiling from cheek to cheek!
-Got to see a man, Ismael, who is a member from Aix-en-Provence.  He's been here for a vacation with his family and is so nice to us and his family (non-members) came to church yesterday!
-Met three cool people after contacting for 3 hours.  We were able to teach two lessons and turn one of them into a new ami!
Jean Jacques opening his Christmas present!

So there is a little summary of our Christmas week.  This week should be crazy with New Years too!  On Friday we go to Paris for mission council!

I'm so grateful to be in France for Christmas with these people who I've come to love so much!  To end I want to share a video that the church used for Easter but I saw it for the first time last week and I loved it. With a New Year and New goals remember that anything is possible BECAUSE OF HIM!!!

Happy New Year!
Elder Player
Website for the video:

Place Stanislas with the Nancy Christmas Tree
Elder Velazquez and me!

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